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Composer-producer-frontman-wizard JG Thirlwell has been making astonishing, orchestral, bombastic music for decades. Born in Australia, he teamed up with Nick Cave and the Birthday Party, then joined Prag VEC, and soon formed his enduring solo project Foetus. Operating under plethora of pseudonyms and monikers meant to confuse, shock, and awe, Thirlwell continues to churn out an astounding amount of music and to perform as a frontman for his own projects, as well as a composer for animated series Venture Brothers, Archer, and Dicktown. We talked about his beginnings in London, moving to New York in the early 80s, starting out using 16 tracks of tape and an elaborate numerical system, his first time wearing "guy liner," the importance of remembering World War Two, his evolving theories on shock value and fear as a part of performance, and his changing relationship to his Australian roots as a citizen of the world.

Episode sponsor: Crazy Eddie's. Opening music: Marchandise by Fugazi, performed by Pierre de Gaillande with James Fletcher, drums. Songs: Courtyard Dogs, Moths, and Witchmarket from The Blue Eyes Soundtrack by JG Thirlwell. Your Lazy Lay Lay by Prag VEC. Is That a Line, What Have You Been Doing, Water Torture, and Danger Global Warming by Foetus. Fun House by Birthday Party. Delights of the Garden by Last Poets. Oilfields and I'll Meet You in Poland Baby, orchestral live performances by JG Thirlwell. Motorslug by Wiseblood. L'espion Qui a Pleuré by Steroid Maximus. A Plastic Island in the Pacific by Manorexia. Spag from Venture Brothers Soundtrack by JG Thirlwell.


For this very special episode, we reach way back into the vault and present an interview Pierre did with The Breeders in 1992! We unearthed this cassette recording of an interview with all four members of this massively popular and influential mainstay of 90's alt-rock, the Breeders. Pierre called them from San Diego and interviewed them on the phone in their hometown of Dayton, Ohio, in advance of their concert in Tijuana, Mexico, at the legendary Iguana's. The year is 1992 and the Breeders are on the verge of superstardom. Pierre is a college student calling from San Diego and he's quite sleepy, but he's awake enough to ask some pretty incisive and trenchant questions, including "Who will play you in a movie of your life" and "Will Bill Clinton be elected?" Listen as young Pierre tries to play it cool on the phone with all four members of the Breeders; Jim McPherson, Josephine Wiggs, Kelly Deal, and Kim Deal.

Episode sponsor: Pierre Delecto. Opening music: "Merchandise" written by Fugazi, performed by Pierre de Gaillande with James Fletcher, drums. "Hey" by Pixies, translated into French and performed by Pierre de Gaillande, form the album "franglais". Songs: "Fortunately Gone," "Cannonball," and "When I was a Painter" by the Breeders.


Phil Manley is a west-coast based rock musician and producer. He runs El Studio in San Fransisco, and he handles the guitar, keyboards, bass, and vocals in bands Trans Am, Life Coach, Terry Gross, and Oneida among others. His band Trans Am spearheaded the Electroclash movement in the 90's and continues to melt faces around the world. We had very pleasant chit chat in his studio about recording very loud bands, Krautrock vs. punk rock, missing the "normal days" of Bush, touring in Europe with a Bush mask on, and how to sheild your kids from the apocalypse.

Episode sponsor: Mother Earth. Opening music: Marchandise by Fugazi, performed by Pierre de Gaillande with James Fletcher, drums. Songs: Orlando, 4738 Regrets, Bagged Agenda, Night Dancing, Cocaine Computer, Alles Verboten, Climbing Up the Ladder, Thing, Washington, DC, and Uninvited Guest by Trans Am. Earthen Sculptor and Abide by the Fucking Champs. Fireball by Life Coach. Shameless Impostor by Terry Gross. Outro music: Nickels and Dimes by Golden.


Episode sweet sixteen features Los Angeles-based activists, musicians, filmmakers, and educators Lisa Marr and Paolo Davanzo. They run a non-profit called the Echo Park Film Center, and they travel the world spreading their vison of inclusiveness, tolerance, creativity and artistic freedom through the medium of cinema. We spoke about both of their musical and artistic trajectories beginning in Canada and Italy, through the wilds of the Orange County punk MIASMA and the Canadian riot girl scene. We chatted about striving for socialist idealism in a capitalist world, the circus of American politics, the short life of the Sassy Pickles, the film mobile, bicycle-driven projection, cuddle core, and so much more.

Episode sponsor: Somebody climbing a mountain. Opening music: "Marchandise" written by Fugazi, performed by Pierre de Gaillande with James Fletcher, drums. Songs: "Oh Happy Day" and "Maneaters" by the Evaporators. "Motel Six" and "New York City" by Cub. ""Hardstance" by Hardstance. "Los Angeles," "Slaughterhouse Ceiling," and "Monday Morning Echo Park" by the Lisa Marr Experiment. "Making Friends the Hollywood Way"  by The Natural Lights. "I Am Always Touched by Your Presence" by The Beards. "In California" by Lisa Marr, performed by Neko Case. "Sure Gonna Miss Him" and "American Express" by Buck. "Shuckin' Sugar" by Lisa Marr and Soda. "Rat Race City" and "Unemployment Line" performed live by Lisa Marr and Paolo Davanzo. "Hé," "Un de Ces Jours," "Aime Toi," "Maitres de Guerre," "Baiser en l'Air," and "Fasciae" by Pierre de Gaillande/Bad Reputation from the album franglais.

PPP #15: STEW  

Stew is a singer, musician, composer, playwright, and a powerhouse in the world of music and theater. For years he fronted the band Stew and the Negro Problem. He then went on to create and star in a play called Passing Strange which started off-Broadway and then went on to have a successful run on Broadway, where it garnered multiple Tonys and other awards, and was eventually turned into a feature film by Spike Lee. In all of Stew's work, he shines a bright light on what it means to be an African-American guy with a killer sense of humor and an acute sense of history and culture, in a world that wants to reduce everyone to stereotypes. Stew performed a live acoustic rendition of his song "Baldwin Country" and we spoke about "asshole-adjacent people," the role of comedy in music, the American vs European idea of freedom, what Reagan would say about today's mess, his ongoing collaboration with partner Heidi Rodewald, the audacity of craziness, and so much more. 

Episode sponsor: Opening music: "Marchandise" written by Fugazi, performed by Pierre de Gaillande with James Fletcher, drums. Songs: "Baldwin Country" performed live by Stew, guitar and vocals. ""Merci Beaucoup M. Godard" from the Passing Strange Broadway soundtrack. "Man in a Dress" by Stew, "Black Men Ski," "Klown Wit Da Nuclear Code" and "Why do Black People Still Believe in God" by Stew and the Negro Problem. End credit music: "Hé" by Pixies, performed by Pierre de Gaillande, from the forthcoming album "franglais" by Bad Reputation.


This episode features woodwind whiz, composer, arranger, and performer Ken Thomson. Ken plays all kinds of clarinets and saxophones (and anything else that sounds like an angry swan) in many amazing projects including but not limited to: Bang on a Can Orchestra, Gutbucket, Asphalt Orchestra, SlowFast, and Ken Thomson Sextet. I've had the pleasure of sharing stages and recording sessions over the years with Ken and he always amazes. We chit-chatted about his career as a hornist, perceptions of Americans  touring abroad, adapting feedback and screaming for marching band, making couscous with your bandmates, and so much more.

Episode sponsor: Kapitalizum. Opening music: "Merchandise" written by Fugazi, performed by Pierre de Gaillande with James Fletcher, drums. Songs: "Fuck You and Your Hipster Tie," "Dry Humping the American Dream," and "More More Bigger Better Faster With Cheese" by Gutbucket. "Where is My Mind," "Something Against You," and "Tony's Theme" by Asphalt Orchestra. "Lewis" by Creedle. "Wanderangst" by Slow/Fast. "The Forest Awakes" by David Byrne and St. Vincent. "Icebreaker" by Ken Thomson Sextet. "Gene Takes a Drink" by Bang on a Can Orchestra. "The Velocity of Love" by World Inferno Friendship Society. "NRA-hole" by Open Kimono. "In the Clear Water of the Fountain" by Bad Reputation.